What's brewing in this new Bandra tea joint?

A few teething problems apart, Bandra’s newly opened The XVII Tea Room will surely create a buzz among tea connoisseurs in and around the vibrant suburb

The XVII Tea Room 
Food: Can do better
Service: Slow 
Ambiance: Cosy

The fresco painting perked interest even before the place opened up. And here we are at The XVII Tea Room on the very day it opened. Why XVII we ask, as we place the order to the owners who have doubled up as waiters? Three friends who are back from France were inspired by the Parisian Salon Du Thé and decided to open a place that would emphasise not only on premium teas like high-grown Assam Black Tea, and Darjeeling Black Tea, but beverages created with tea as the main ingredient.

Citrus Hot Chocolate
Citrus Hot Chocolate. PICS/Nikesh Gurav

A vegetarian place, we start with Mulled Apple Black tea (Rs 120) and Orange Chai (Rs 100) and are slightly disappointed. The Mulled Apple Black tea that arrives is warm and listless and the orange Chai could be any Indian Masala tea. Okay, bad start. For nibbles with the tea we try Smoked Chili Cheese Toast (Rs 90 for half portion; '150 full portion) and the Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta (Rs 110 half portion; Rs 170 full portion). The Chili Cheese Toast, which was recommended to us, was strictly okay: the green olives and green bell pepper did add to the flavour. But the Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta is a delight. Loaded on the bruschetta, moist and bursting with flavours, it was devoured.

Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta
Olive Tapenade and Mushroom Bruschetta

There are kids on the next table enjoying Raspberry Cold Chocolate (Rs 160) and they say it’s great. I try the Sencha, (Rs 100) which is absolutely heavenly. We then venture to have the Mediterranean Sandwich (Rs 115 half portion, Rs 180 full portion), which is to die for. The hummus, tomatoes, fresh Italian basil, black olives and mozzarella cheese tucked into a soft bread sandwich makes everything worth it. Everything — the tea blends, the chocolate, the vanilla — are all made from real products and not premixed blends and in-house, we are told.

Raspberry Cold Chocolate

Perhaps it was because it was the first day, none of the sauces or garnishes or napkins were placed on our table and one of our orders was forgotten.

Mediterranean Sandwich
Mediterranean Sandwich

However, when we mentioned it, we were gallantly served, along with moist tea cakes to make up for the oversight. The place is split into two levels and the basement accommodates larger groups. On the top the space, however, because there is only so much space to work around, tiny tables and purple seats have to be pulled up if there are more than two people. And each tabletop is so tiny that anything more than two cups of tea and one snack would mean looking for space to place it.

Despite the bad start and a bit of disappointment, one would surely drop by for a Sencha and to try out more of the fine blended tea, and for the Mediterranean Sandwich.

At: Shop no 1, Darvesh Royale, Turner Road, next to Lemon Leaf, Bandra (W).
Call: 9819843416/ 9820727891

The XVII Tea Room didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals

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